If you’re a seasoned full-stack mobile app developer who loves to keep himself up-to-date with the latest technologies and tools, then you would have definitely heard of Flutter. Primarily developed with the core purpose of overcoming the well-known limitations of cross-platform mobile app development, this powerful mobile app SDK created by Google facilitates developers to build high-performance native-like apps for Android and iOS, using a single codebase.
Apart from being written in Dart, Google’s own object-oriented programming language, Flutter is far different and better than other cross-platform mobile app development tools, such as React Native, Xamarin, and Ionic, in a number of ways, like, it:
- Is completely free and open source
- Uses a powerful rendering engine written primarily in C++
- Offers a rich set of fully-customizable widgets
- Has a reactive programming-based architecture
- Strictly adheres to specific platforms’ guidelines
Although the thought of learning a completely new programming language might discourage you from using Flutter for mobile app development, there are still several genuine reasons why you should give it a try.
Let’s explore them one by one!
Shorter App Development Cycles
One thing which Flutter is well-known for is its stateful hot reload feature. Unlike other mobile app development tools that take a significantly long time to publish changes to the running app, Flutter, leveraging the power of Hot Reload feature, enables developers to instantly view all the changes they’ve made to the app straight away.
Eliminating the need for compiling the code again and over again, Flutter’s Hot Reload feature facilitates a better collaboration between designers and developers, which eventually reduces the time of mobile app development by manifold. While most types of code changes can be hot reloaded, there are, however, several changes that require a hot restart.
Ready-made, Fully-customizable Widgets
Everything in Flutter is a Widget! Yes, you heard it right! To make your mobile app look and feel like a native, Flutter comes power-packed with a rich set of fully-customizable widgets using which you can build engaging native user interfaces in a few minutes. You can even create your own widgets using the existing ones!
To ensure your app looks natural on both Android and iOS platforms, Flutter offers beautiful and motion-rich Material Components Widgets and Cupertino (iOS-style) Widgets. Incorporating all critical platform differences such as fonts, icons, navigation and scrolling, Flutter’s widgets deliver full native performance on both operating systems.
A Single Code Base for Both Android and iOS
Since Flutter is built with a “write once, test once, and deploy everywhere” approach, it is platform independent, due to which developers don’t need to write two different codes for Android and iOS. Unlike other cross-platform mobile app development technologies, Flutter allows developers to reuse 95% of their code, saving their both time and efforts.
Consequently, when you write the same code for both of the platforms, less testing is required. As developers have only one codebase, they need to write automatic tests only once. Furthermore, the Quality Assurance team has less work to do since there is only one app to check. However, given that your app might have some differences, it is recommended you check it on both platforms separately.
Perfect for an MVP
Whether you’re someone who is quite excited about revealing the first look of their app to customers or the one who needs to show their app to investors as soon as possible, you can always take advantage of Flutter to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for your app. Flutter turns out to be really efficient, especially when you have a very little time.
Where it takes about 400 hours to develop an average app for a single platform, Flutter only takes about 250 hours to develop an app for both Android and iOS platforms. So if you want to show investors your efforts towards finding the key features based on your research, you can do it by quickly developing an MVP using Flutter.
Full Freedom of Development
When it comes to making any changes in the app code, Flutter gives complete freedom to developers. Not only they can make required alterations to app components but also they can replace or remove the animation, gestures, widgets, and many other elements very easily and quickly.
Since Flutter’s architecture is powered by a thin layer of C/C++, it gives developers the ability to customize everything within the framework. The freedom of development in Flutter not only empowers developers to build expressive and flexible UIs but also leads to an incredibly fast rendering.
Device Independent App UI
Apart from being platform-independent, Flutter is also a device independent framework. This simply means your new app will always look the same, no matter what version of Android or iOS it is running on. You’ll don’t have to spur extra money to make your app support older versions of Android and iOS platforms.
Be it an older version of Android or a newer version of iOS, Apps built with Flutter look same everywhere. For instance, below is the animated GIF of an app running on two different versions of Android – Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) and Andriod 8.1.0 (Oreo) – respectively.
Access to Native Features and SDKs
Several platform-specific features such as calls, messaging, camera, and GPS require access to native features and Flutter does it quite excellently. Providing full access to native features and SDKs on both Android and iOS platforms, Flutter makes you feel like you’re developing your app on a native platform.
While using Flutter, you can also leverage the potential of third-party integrations, native codes, and platform APIs to make your app development journey even more delightful. Moreover, you can reuse your existing Swift, Kotlin, Java and Objective-C code in Flutter projects.
Blazing Fast Performance
To get started with Flutter, you neither require a super powerful computer nor need to worry if your operating system would be able to handle it. You can start coding even on a relatively low-end machine. Check out minimum system requirements here based on your specific operating system. Also, Flutter has a very short learning curve, which makes it the developers’ favorite choice for mobile app development.
No Need to Create a Backend
When you’re using Flutter, there is no need to build a back end. Instead, you can take advantage of Firebase, Google’s own mobile and web application development platform with an out of box support for real-time databases, hosting, cloud storage, authentication, and more. In other words, supporting a number of Firebase APIs, Flutter saves developers a lot of time, resources, and efforts towards backend development.
Flutter Works with Google Fuchsia
For those who are not familiar with Fuchsia, it is an upcoming capability-based, modular mobile OS which Google is currently working on.
Although the power of Fuchsia has not been revealed yet, many tech experts believe that it will not only be the heart of millions of IoT devices but also will play a significant role in taking the AR and VR to the next level. Since Fuchsia’s UI and apps are written in Flutter, chances are the future of mobile app development will rely heavily on Flutter.
Jay M, an app developer cum blogger working with iPraxa – A Mobile App Development Company, who has proven expertise in resolving all the technical complexities involved in the development of innovative, unique websites and apps. I spend my spare time on the web to learn about the latest technologies and love to share my knowledge with others through my content.